esther70

IMDb member since October 2005
    Lifetime Total
    10+
    IMDb Member
    13 years

Reviews

Queen of the Damned
(2002)

Not a bad vampire movie for non-Anne Rice fan
I am a fan of the Vampire Chronicles, at least the first 6 or 7 books. So, I could understand why many fans hated Queen of the Damned. It took away what made each vampire unique, making them a bunch of power rangers fighting a common enemy, Akasha. Lestat also faced danger as he disregarded the ancient rule of secrecy of vampires among humans. Unlike the Interview with the Vampire, this is not a character building movie that tells the origin of Lestat & his clan. It is a fight for survival movie, like from Dusk till Dawn. I guess the main problem with the fans was that the book Queen of the Damned was indeed an origin movie and introduced the all the ancient ones. However, at least in the Queen of the Damned, they got most of the look of the ancient ones right. Unlike in Interview of the Vampire where Armand was no where near what he looked in the book, and his wig was a pure horror. Despite not dyeing his hair blond, Stuart Townsend nailed Lestat's attitude much better than Tom Cruise. Aaliyah's Akasha was exotic, beautiful and dangerous. Just these two leads, the cool music and passable storyline were already far better than what the Twilnight Saga had offered.

The Girl in the Spider's Web
(2018)

Deeply Disappointed
Claire Foy is badly miscasted. She has no badass vibe at all. I love the other two actresses playing Lisbeth but Claire lacks the toughness. You can tell she tried very hard but she just came off like a spoilt princess Even the girl playing her sister would be a much better Lisbeth. The budget is much bigger than the other four movies on Lisbeth but going to exotic location, explosions, elaborate sets etc. does not help tell a better story. It now looks like a female Jason Bourne or a dark avenger for women hurt by men. The music is horrible, just so 80's. Most references to lesbian and child sexual abuse are watered down. The edginess of the originals are all gone.

Jonathan
(2018)

Interesting premise, weak storyline, not a scifi movie
Dissociative personality disorder is not new in movies but this one has a quite interesting spin. Basically John and Johnathan are two personalities sharing the same body from birth. There are strict rules to make the sharing works but the rules also make it quite impossible to have a fulfilling life. In adhering to the rules, Jonathan became very lonely and is emotionally reliant on John. John, the free spirited one, could no longer bear the half life, became suicidal. One body can not support two lives in the long run and I will not tell you who wins in the end. The movie itself is not bad. The first half hour is interesting but it gets boring soon. One reason is that Ansel 's acting is flat. That's not entirely his fault because the whole movie is told from the boring personality who has same routine day-in day-out. If part of the movie is told from John's angle, it would be much more interesting and better explain how to turn suicidal. This would also give Ansel more opportunities to show his acting chop. Also, the ending struggle between the two got played out with total stranger (a black taxi driver) seems like an after thought made for political correctness. It would be much more effective if the girl friend is used instead. Also, I am a bit disappointed that the only scifi element is the device that control which personality comes out to play. I thought the scifi part would help resolve the dilemma in fight for the body but totally disappointed that the only solution is to destroy one of the two.

The Handmaid's Tale
(2017)

Poor casting, pale in comparison to the movie version
I loved the movie version of the Handmaid's Tale but I couldn't say the same for the TV version. I really hate Elizabeth Moss's portrayal of Offred. Natasha Richardson was so much better in the movie version. Elizabeth Moss seems to equate strength with a constant smirk. Her acting was one-noted and I am so surprised she received so much praise here. There is nothing new apart from the overall premise. If you are interested in the story, watch the movie instead. It is much better made and save you tons of time

The Party's Just Beginning
(2018)

Definitely not a comedy
This is definitely not comedy. It is a not funny at all. Overall, this is not a bad debut for Karen Gillan but nothing to be excited about. I haven't seen Matthew Beard's films before but he is surprisingly good here. Lee Pace is always reliable but he has little to work with in this movie. Karen is a bit disapppointing here but since the movie is about how her charcter sleepwalks though her life following her best friend's suicide, I can't tell for sure if her portrayal is intentional. My biggest problem with the movie is that timelines got mingled together. Coupled with the hallucination/ ghost, it is hard to tell what really happened and when it happened. Luckily, the movie have little plots and it really doesn't matter too much if you can't follow.

Bird Box
(2018)

Much better than A Quiet Place
Bird Box has the same feel as A Quiet Place but has much less plotholes. The quality of acting is also much better overall. The movie spent lots of time developing Sandra's characters thorugh her interaction with others. That's makes her character growth more plausible and her desperate trip to the santuary more understandable. I highly recommend this movie to anyone who like a thriller with a good dose of character study.

Bodyguard: Episode #1.6
(2018)
Episode 6, Season 1

Good but overhyped
The story is nothing new if you've seen 24 and Homeland. It is fast paced and intelligent enough. Acting is good overall but Richard Madden's performance is overrated. In first to fourth episode, he couldn't get his internal turmoil across from his outward calmness. He gets much better in the last two episodes when his character starts to lose control. The last plot twist of Nadia being the mastermind seems totally ridiculous. Victim or not, she is a suicide bomber with links to terrorist cells. How can she feed information to others without anyone knowing? Why wasn't her background vetted and no one know she is an engineer? It's beyond crazy that she could continue to make bombs without anyone the wiser.

Jack Ryan
(2018)

Not Tom Clancy, Not Jack Ryan
The story bears no resemblance to Tom Clancy's novels. I understand they are not adapting from any of his novels but there is none of his traits in the story. John Krasinski is not convincing as the lead but the rest of the cast is just as bad. The production is decent but don't get your hopes up and you would enjoy it better.

The Child in Time
(2017)

Confusing movie
This movie could be great if the screen time is longer but with the current runtime of less than 90 minutes, there is just not enough time to cover the kidnap of Mark's daughter and the mental illness of Charles. We ended up with a lot of scenes that seems irrelevant and unresolved loose ends. The movie started promising with Mark's daughter gone missing. Charles came along and I thought his connections would help in the search. Nothing happened. Then the focus shifted to Charles's mental illness. but his plot has nothing to do with Mark's loss. Charles plotline just disrupted the mood & pacing of the movie. Another weird plot is that Mark thought the had been to the pub before he has been born. What's the point adding this 'supernatural' vibe? And the wife hides the pregnancy from Mark seems like a missed opportunity in describing the couple's road to reconciliation. The movie just feels rushed and unfocused.

Benedict is also a bit disappointing. He is phenomenal in Patrick Melrose but he is not up to his normal standard here. I can't feel his grief or loss but that might be partly due to the confusing plot making it difficult to immerse in the emotions. His performance paled in comparison with Lee Pace and Carrie Coon in 'the Keeping Hours', which is another recent movie on loss of a young child. I highly recommend this latter title if you like romantic tragedy.

Anon
(2018)

Another Netflix film that fail to deliver
Most Netflix films have great premise but have lousy actors but Anon has Clive Owen and Amanda Seyfried, and yet their performances are as wooden as amateur actors. The idea of technology invading our privacy is not new but can still be interesting, just look at Black Mirror. All those nude scenes, sex scenes or blood spattering scenes can't cover the paper thin storyline. There is almost nothing on the background on the two main characters, or three if you count Mark O'Brien as well. Their actions/reactions seem forced and arbitrary as I can't feel for them. I just wished Netflix has spent more efforts in the script instead of marketing.

Beirut
(2018)

Not another spy thriller
I don't care it is not filmed in Beirut. It is a good spy thriller that is unlike most others. It does not have car chases or thousands of bullets flying or naked men & women decorating the screen. It has depth and is thought provoking. A wife died and the husband grieved. A child lost his mentor and he seeked another, who led him to a totally different path. There are deceptions but there are also trust and friendship. It is a movie that keeps your brain churning instead of your adrenaline rushing.

The Keeping Hours
(2017)

Tear-jerking romantic story with supernatural twist
Don't be fooled by the marketing or the connection with Blumhouse. This movie is no horror or thriller. It is a story about love, family, grief and second chances. The plot is simple but the director does a good job in keeping it interesting. The cinematography is absolutely beautiful but the music doesn't fit the mood of the movie. Lee Pace and Carrie Coon are absolutely brilliant though the son is less than memorable. There is a twist towards the end which makes you rethink why the son has came back. Overall, the Keeping Hours is perfectly enjoyable if you have the right mindset. It makes you wonder why such a quality, award winning movie would be dumped to VOD.

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